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Health and Fitness – A New Mindset

Recent studies have shown that obesity rates are still on the rise in the United States. Despite all of the health and fitness knowledge, and healthy diet choices that are available, people are still gaining weight at an unhealthy rate. For many people, diets and workouts are a part of the rollercoaster of weight loss and gain that they have been on for years. They lose some weight, then they gain it all back, and then some. What they really need is a new mindset about the way they live their daily lives.Most health and fitness experts agree that the majority of weight problems people face are more mental issues than they are actual physical problems. Shows like “The Biggest Loser” show how much of the weight loss process requires a mental and emotional transformation along with the physical workouts.Take the word “diet” as an example. People who have spent a lifetime struggling with their weight like to say, “Diets don’t work for me.” That just goes to show the misconception we have, and the connotation we give certain words. The reality is, a diet is a word that describes the food you eat. You are all on a diet. Some are healthy diets, some are unhealthy diets, but everyone has a diet. In order to improve your health and fitness, you need to start thinking about it as being on a diet, and start looking at it as a part of a healthier lifestyle.For some people it is an issue of motivation. If they do not feel motivated, they will not make the effort required for a healthier lifestyle. They will not do the workouts necessary to burn calories, they will not eat the fruits and vegetable to keep their diet balanced, and they will not do away with the unhealthy snacks that will derail weight loss efforts. What you need to understand is, if the healthier lifestyle is important to you, then you need to force yourself to do what it takes, and not wait for the proper motivation. As you continue to get healthier, the motivation to continue will come, but that is an after-effect. Motivation rarely comes first for beginners.Proper health and fitness is something that can only come about as a result of a healthy mindset. It is only by changing the way we think about losing weight and getting fit that the physical change will actually happen. It requires a change in your mindset. If you can change the way you think about health and fitness, you can change the way you look.

Wellness Coordinators: Approach Employee Health Holistically (You Can’t Afford Not To!)

There are multiple determinants to health. And you do want to address as many as you can through your work site wellness program, correct?Essentially, in the workplace setting, employee health is determined as a function of individual practices, organizational practices and the greater community in which the organization resides. In order to approach employee health holistically then, the workplace wellness program must address these three levels.Individual Health DeterminantsResearchers estimate that the individual determinants of health account for up to an estimated 40% of how healthy an individual is. At the individual level, biology, genetics, age and gender all impact individual health. Researchers estimate that these physiological determinants of health account for approximately 10% of how healthy an individual is.Researchers have also found that an individual’s experiences in childhood impact how healthy they are in adulthood. Experiencing trauma in childhood adversely influences how healthy they are in adulthood.Individual lifestyle factors, personal health practices and coping skills also play a significant role in how healthy an individual is. Researchers estimate that these could account for up to 40% of how healthy an individual is.The traditional approach to worksite wellness has typically focused on individual health and lifestyle factors and personal health practices in particular.Organization Determinants of HealthResearchers have clearly established that a person’s health is also determined by social and economic factors, as well as individual factors. These are commonly classified as the social determinants of health. Research has estimated that the social determinants of health account for between 15 – 40% of how healthy the individual is.Management practices in the workplace contribute significantly to employee health and wellbeing. Management practices can either contribute to or detract from employee health and wellbeing.The work environment clearly influences and impacts the health and psychosocial wellbeing of employees. There is extensive evidence on the connection between the workplace and employee health and wellbeing. Many workplace conditions profoundly influence employee behavior, health and wellbeing.If the workplace is unhealthy, why would we ever expect employees to be healthy? It is for this reason that effective, successful 21st century worksite wellness programs focus just as much on organizational health, as they do individual employee health.Community Determinants of HealthEmployees and employers do not exist in isolation. Both are influenced by the community in which they live, work, play and operate. Typical community determinants of health include the physical environment (air quality, water quality, sanitation, etc.), the social environment and the cultural environment. Included in the environment is access to healthcare and social services.While healthy employees are good for an employer, healthy work places are good for the community. Being seen as a great place to work is good for the employer, but also good for the community. The more great places to work there are in the community, the healthier the community will be.Through corporate social responsibility type initiatives, employers are also contributing to the health of the community.Worksite wellness in the 21st century is more than just a focus on the health status of employees. Worksite wellness encompasses programming and interventions at the organizational and community levels as well.